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Drinking water quality in Wales

The laws that govern drinking water quality and how water companies are monitored in Wales.

The current European Directive (98/83/EC) on the Quality of Water Intended for Human Consumption (the "Drinking Water Directive") (external link) was adopted in 1998. All Member States must comply with the Directive.

Public water supplies

In 2010, we made regulations under the Water Industry Act 1991 (external link) to apply the European Directive's standards to drinking water supplies made by water companies whose area of supply is in Wales. The regulations are called the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2010 (external link).

The Drinking Water Inspectorate (external link) conducts audits and inspections of water companies in Wales, and enforcement action on our behalf. The Inspectorate:

  • ensures that water companies comply with the 1991 Water Industry Act and the 2010 Regulations
  • investigates customer complaints and incidents which affect drinking water supplies.

Private water supplies

These are supplies that are from wells, springs etc. Local authorities (i.e. County Councils in Wales) are responsible for monitoring and enforcing the standards that are set in the Private Water Supplies Regulations 2010 (external link, PDF).